45 Most Anticipated Audiobooks of Fall 2021

The leaves are turning, all things pumpkin spice are back at Starbucks, and with that ushers in the most bountiful harvest yet of the year: fall’s biggest audiobooks.

From triumphant returns from Pulitzer Prize-winning authors to an almost overwhelming number of big-name memoirs, this season’s audiobooks will have you curled up in your blanket for weeks. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s something here for everyone. Read on for our 45 most anticipated audiobooks of fall 2021.

For even more audiobooks you won’t want to miss, check out our full Most Anticipated Upcoming Audiobooks book list.


Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney, narrated by Aoife McMahon (September 7)

Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they worry about sex and friendship and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Read more and sample the audio →


The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell, narrated by Joanne Froggatt (September 7)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another riveting work of psychological suspense about a beautiful young couple’s disappearance on a gorgeous summer night, and the mother who will never give up trying to find them…

Read more and sample the audio →


Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead, narrated by Dion Graham (September 14)

From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys comes a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s. Harlem Shuffle’s ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.

Read more and sample the audio →


Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, narrated by Caroline Lee (September 14)

From the outside, the Delaneys appear to be an enviably contented family. Even after all these years, former tennis coaches Joy and Stan are still winning tournaments, and now they’ve sold the family business they have all the time in the world to learn how to ‘relax’. But now Joy Delaney has disappeared and her four adult children are re-examining their parents’ marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes. 

Read more and sample the audio →


Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement by Tarana Burke, narrated by Tarana Burke (September 14)

From the founder and activist behind one of the largest movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the ‘me too’ movement, Tarana Burke debuts a powerful memoir about her own journey to saying those two simple yet infinitely powerful words—me too—and how she brought empathy back to an entire generation in one of the largest cultural events in American history.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien, narrated by Andy Serkis (September 16)

This brand-new unabridged audiobook of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first part of J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic adventure, The Lord of the Rings, is read by the BAFTA award-winning actor, director and author, Andy Serkis.

Read more and sample the audio →


Daughter of the Morning Star by Craig Johnson, narrated by George Guidall (September 21)

When Tribal Police Chief Lolo Long’s niece Jaya begins receiving death threats, she calls on Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire along with Henry Standing Bear as lethal backup. Jaya “Longbow” Long is the athletic phenom of the Lame Deer Lady Stars high school basketball team and is following in the steps of her older sister, who had disappeared a year previously, a victim of the plague of missing Native women in Indian Country. Lolo hopes that having Longmire involved will draw some public attention to the girl’s plight, a maneuver that also inadvertently places the good sheriff in a one-on-one clash with the deadliest adversary he has ever faced in both this world and the next.

Read more and sample the audio →


Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune, narrated by Kirt Graves (September 21)

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

Read more and sample the audio →


Bewilderment by Richard Powers, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini (September 21)

Theo Byrne is a promising young astrobiologist who has found a way to search for life on other planets dozens of light years away. He is also the widowed father of a most unusual nine-year-old. His son, Robin, is funny, loving, and filled with plans. He thinks and feels deeply, adores animals, and can spend hours painting elaborate pictures. He is also on the verge of being expelled from third grade for smashing his friend’s face with a metal thermos.

Read more and sample the audio →


Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, narrated by Simon JonesMarin Ireland (September 28)

Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope—and a book. In Cloud Cuckoo Land, Doerr has created a magnificent tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness—with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us, and with those who will be here after we’re gone.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward, narrated by Christopher Ragland (September 28)

In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family of three.

A teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, not after last time.
A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory.
And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible.

An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all.

Read more and sample the audio →


No One Goes Alone by Erik Larson, narrated by Erik LarsonJulian Rhind-Tutt (September 28)

Pioneering psychologist William James leads an expedition to a remote isle in search of answers after a family inexplicably vanishes. Was the cause rooted in the physical world . . . or were there forces more paranormal and sinister at work? Available only on audio, because as Larson says, ghost stories are best told aloud. Created specifically to entertain audio listeners, this eerie blend of the ghostly and the real will keep listeners captivated till the blood-chilling end.

Read more and sample the audio →


A Calling for Charlie Barnes by Joshua Ferris, narrated by Nick Offerman (September 28)

Someone is telling the story of the life of Charlie Barnes, and it doesn’t appear to be going well. Too often divorced, discontent with life’s compromises and in a house he hates, this lifelong schemer and eternal romantic would like out of his present circumstances and into the American dream. But when the twin calamities of the Great Recession and a cancer scare come along to compound his troubles, his dreams dwindle further, and an infinite past full of forking paths quickly tapers to a black dot.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik, narrated by Anisha Dadia (September 28)

Our beloved school does its best to devour all its students—but now that I’ve reached my senior year and have actually won myself a handful of allies, it’s suddenly developed a very particular craving for me. And even if I somehow make it through the endless waves of maleficaria that it keeps throwing at me in between grueling homework assignments, I haven’t any idea how my allies and I are going to make it through the graduation hall alive. 

Unless, of course, I finally accept my foretold destiny of dark sorcery and destruction. That would certainly let me sail straight out of here. The course of wisdom, surely.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Wish by Nicholas Sparks, narrated by Will CollyerMela Lee (September 28)

1996 was the year that changed everything for Maggie Dawes. Sent away at sixteen to live with an aunt she barely knew in Ocracoke, a remote village on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, she could think only of the friends and family she left behind . . . until she met Bryce Trickett, one of the few teenagers on the island. Handsome, genuine, and newly admitted to West Point, Bryce showed her how much there was to love about the wind-swept beach town—and introduced her to photography, a passion that would define the rest of her life.

Read more and sample the audio →


Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes: Essays by Phoebe Robinson, narrated by Phoebe Robinson (September 28)

In her brand-new collection, Phoebe shares stories that will make you laugh, but also plenty that will hit you in the heart, inspire a little bit of rage, and maybe a lot of action. That means sharing her perspective on performative allyship, white guilt, and what happens when white people take up space in cultural movements; exploring what it’s like to be a woman who doesn’t want kids living in a society where motherhood is the crowning achievement of a straight, cis woman’s life; and how the dire state of mental health in America means that taking care of one’s mental health—aka “self-care”—usually requires disposable money.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Man Who Died Twice: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman, narrator to be announced (September 28)

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim—the Thursday Murder Club—are still riding high off their recent real-life murder case and are looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet at Cooper’s Chase, their posh retirement village.

But they are out of luck.

An unexpected visitor—an old pal of Elizabeth’s (or perhaps more than just a pal?)—arrives, desperate for her help. He has been accused of stealing diamonds worth millions from the wrong men and he’s seriously on the lam.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman, narrated by Jennifer Ehle (October 5)

The Owens family has been cursed in matters of love for over three hundred years but all of that is about to change. The novel begins in a library, the best place for a story to be conjured, when beloved aunt Jet Owens hears the deathwatch beetle and knows she has only seven days to live. Jet is not the only one in danger—the curse is already at work.

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The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, narrated by Dion GrahamEdoardo Ballerini, and Marin Ireland (October 5)

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.

Read more and sample the audio →


I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins, narrated by Kristen Sieh (October 5)

Leaving behind her husband and their baby daughter, a writer gets on a flight for a speaking engagement in Reno, not carrying much besides a breast pump and a spiraling case of postpartum depression. Her temporary escape from domestic duties and an opportunity to reconnect with old friends mutates into an extended romp away from the confines of marriage and motherhood, and a seemingly bottomless descent into the past.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl, narrated by Dave Grohl (October 5)

So, I’ve written a book.

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities (‘It’s a piece of cake! Just do 4 hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!’) I have decided to tell these stories just as I have always done, in my own voice. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. 

Read more and sample the audio →


Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci, narrated by Stanley Tucci (October 5)

Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the savory recipes and into the compelling stories behind them.​

Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.

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A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020) by David Sedaris, narrated by David Sedaris and Tracey Ullman (October 5)

If it’s navel-gazing you’re after, you’ve come to the wrong place; ditto treacly self-examination. Rather, David Sedaris’s observations turn outward: a fight between two men on a bus, a fight between two men on the street, pedestrians being whacked over the head or gathering to watch as a man considers leap­ing to his death. There’s a dirty joke shared at a book signing, then a dirtier one told at a dinner party—lots of jokes here. Plenty of laughs.

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Reprieve by James Han Mattsson, narrated by J.D. Jackson (October 5)

On April 27, 1997, four contestants make it to the final cell of the Quigley House, a full-contact haunted escape room in Lincoln, Nebraska, made famous for its monstrosities, booby-traps, and ghoulishly costumed actors. If the group can endure these horrors without shouting the safe word, “reprieve,” they’ll win a substantial cash prize—a startling feat accomplished only by one other group in the house’s long history. But before they can complete the challenge, a man breaks into the cell and kills one of the contestants.

Read more and sample the audio →


Sistersong by Lucy Holland, narrated by Robyn Holdaway (October 5)

In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, there is old magic to be found in the whisper of the wind, the roots of the trees, the curl of the grass. King Cador knew this once, but now the land has turned from him, calling instead to his three children. Riva can cure others, but can’t seem to heal her own deep scars. Keyne battles to be accepted for who he truly is—the king’s son. And Sinne dreams of seeing the world, of finding adventure.

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State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny, narrated by Joan Allen (October 12)

State of Terror follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage. A series of terrorist attacks throws the global order into disarray, and the secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most.

Read more and sample the audio →


Silverview by John Le Carré, narrator to be announced (October 12)

Julian Lawndsley has renounced his high-flying job in the city for a simpler life running a bookshop in a small English seaside town. But only a couple of months into his new career, Julian’s evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian’s family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise.

Read more and sample the audio →


Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside by Nick Offerman, narrated by Nick Offerman (October 12)

A humorous and rousing set of literal and figurative sojourns as well as a mission statement about comprehending, protecting, and truly experiencing the outdoors, fueled by three journeys undertaken by actor, humorist, and New York Times bestselling author Nick Offerman.

Read more and sample the audio →


Unprotected: A Memoir by Billy Porter, narrator to be announced (October 19)

Before Billy Porter was slaying red carpets and giving an iconic performance in the celebrated TV show Pose; before he was the Tony-award winning star of Broadway’s Kinky Boots; and before he was an acclaimed recording artist, actor, playwright, and all-around diva, Porter was a young boy who didn’t fit in. At five years old he was sent to therapy to fix his effeminacy. He was endlessly bullied at school, sexually abused by his stepfather, and came of age in a world where simply being himself was a constant struggle. Unprotected is the story of a singular artist in his own word.

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Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout, narrated by Kimberly Farr (October 19)

Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are. 

So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret—one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Judge’s List by John Grisham, narrator to be announced (October 19)

In The Whistler, Lacy Stoltz investigated a corrupt judge who was taking millions in bribes from a crime syndicate. She put the criminals away, but only after being attacked and nearly killed. Three years later, and approaching forty, she is tired of her work for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct and ready for a change.

Then she meets a mysterious woman who is so frightened she uses a number of aliases. Jeri Crosby’s father was murdered twenty years earlier in a case that remains unsolved and that has grown stone cold. But Jeri has a suspect whom she has become obsessed with and has stalked for two decades. Along the way, she has discovered other victims.

Read more and sample the audio →


Better Off Dead by Lee Child and Andrew Child, narrated by Scott Brick (October 26)

Reacher goes where he wants, when he wants. That morning he was heading west, walking under the merciless desert sun—until he comes upon a curious scene. A Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around. A woman is slumped over the wheel.

Dead? No, nothing is what it seems. 

Read more and sample the audio →


1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir by Ai Weiwei, narrated by David Shih (November 2)

Once an intimate of Mao Zedong and the nation’s most celebrated poet, Ai Weiwei’s father, Ai Qing, was branded a rightist during the Cultural Revolution, and he and his family were banished to a desolate place known as “Little Siberia,” where Ai Qing was sentenced to hard labor cleaning public toilets. Ai Weiwei recounts his childhood in exile, and his difficult decision to leave his family to study art in America, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg and was inspired by Andy Warhol. With candor and wit, he details his return to China and his rise from artistic unknown to art world superstar and international human rights activist—and how his work has been shaped by living under a totalitarian regime.

Read more and sample the audio →


Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart, narrator to be announced (November 2)

It’s March 2020 and a calamity is unfolding. A group of friends and friends-of-friends gathers in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months, new friendships and romances will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge, forcing each character to reevaluate whom they love and what matters most.

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The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom, narrated by Mitch Albom (November 2)

Mitch Albom has written of heaven in the celebrated number one bestsellers The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The First Phone Call from Heaven. Now, for the first time in his fiction, he ponders what we would do if, after crying out for divine help, God actually appeared before us? What might the Lord look, sound and act like.

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Immune: A Journey into the Mysterious System That Keeps You Alive by Philipp Dettmer, narrated by Steve Taylor (November 2)


Second only to the human brain in its complexity, your immune system is one of the oldest and most critical facets of life on Earth. Without it, you would die within days. In Immune, Philipp Dettmer, the brains behind the most popular science channel on YouTube, takes readers on a journey through the fortress of the human body and its defenses. There is a constant battle of staggering scale raging within us, full of stories of invasion, strategy, defeat, and noble self-sacrifice. In fact, in the time you’ve been reading this, your immune system has probably identified and eradicated a cancer cell that started to grow in your body.

Read more and sample the audio →


Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer by Rax King, narrated by Rax King (November 2)

Tacky is about the power of pop culture—like any art—to imprint itself on our lives and shape our experiences, no matter one’s commitment to ‘good’ taste. These fourteen essays are a nostalgia-soaked antidote to the millennial generation’s obsession with irony, putting the aesthetics we hate to love—snakeskin pants, Sex and the City, Cheesecake Factory’s gargantuan menu—into kinder and sharper perspective.

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My Body by Emily Ratajkowski, narrated by Emily Ratajkowski (November 9)

Emily Ratajkowski is an acclaimed model and actress, an engaged political progressive, a formidable entrepreneur, a global social media phenomenon, and now, a writer. Rocketing to world fame at age twenty-one, Ratajkowski sparked both praise and furor with the provocative display of her body as an unapologetic statement of feminist empowerment. The subsequent evolution in her thinking about our culture’s commodification of women is the subject of this book.

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Never by Ken Follett, narrated by January Lavoy (November 9)

Never is an extraordinary novel, full of heroines and villains, false prophets and elite warriors, jaded politicians and opportunistic revolutionaries. It brims with cautionary wisdom for our times, and a delivers a visceral, heart-pounding read that transports readers to the brink of the unimaginable.

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The Sentence by Louise Erdrich, narrated by Louise Erdrich (November 9)

Louise Erdrich’s latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls’ Day, but she simply won’t leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading ‘with murderous attention,’ must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

Read more and sample the audio →


Will by Will Smith, narrated by Will Smith (November 9)

One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had.

Read more and sample the audio →


These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett, narrated by Ann Patchett (November 23)

A literary alchemist, Ann Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Turning her writer’s eye on her own experiences, she transforms the private into the universal, providing us all a way to look at our own worlds anew, and reminds how fleeting and enigmatic life can be. 

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Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon, narrated by Davina Porter (November 23)

Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1746, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same. It is 1779 and Claire and Jamie are at last reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children on Fraser’s Ridge. Having the family together is a dream the Frasers had thought impossible. Yet even in the North Carolina backcountry, the effects of war are being felt. Tensions in the Colonies are great and local feelings run hot enough to boil Hell’s teakettle. Jamie knows loyalties among his tenants are split and it won’t be long until the war is on his doorstep.

Read more and sample the audio →


Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown, narrated by Brené Brown (November 30)

In Atlas of the Heart, Brené Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.

Read more and sample the audio →


Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult, narrator to be announced (November 30)

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind

Read more and sample the audio →


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Why Audiobooks Can Help Children Read & Where To Start?

The world looks a little different for children now than it did when a lot of us were growing up. Now, kids encounter screens every day at home, at school, and everywhere in between. While so many things have been revolutionized by the integration of technology, it’s still super important that children still get the opportunity for screen-free time so they can develop the skills that will help them later in life, plus it will allow them to explore and develop their interests.

Thinking of new ways to keep your kids entertained without a screen can be tough, but if you haven’t given audiobooks a try, then now is the time! According to the Audio Publishers Association, listening to audiobooks triggers the same language processing in the brain as it does when physically reading.

Audiobooks also allow readers of different levels access and enjoyment of the same books, which could open up a whole world of reading opportunities to so many children and people in general.

Now that schools are back in session in many places, the need to “unplug” and enjoy some screen-free entertainment is at an all-time high, so we’ve put together a small list of essential audiobooks as a starting point for you to press play on for your kids (and they’re such great stories that you may just want to listen too).


Something Classic


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, narrated by Douglas Hodge

Publisher Summary:

Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last!

But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

Read more and sample the audio →


Something New


Pax, Journey Home by Sara Pennypacker, narrated by Michael Curran-Dorsano

Publisher Summary:

From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes the long-awaited sequel to Pax; this is a gorgeously crafted, utterly compelling novel about chosen families and the healing power of love.

It’s been a year since Peter and his pet fox, Pax, have seen each other. Once inseparable, they now lead very different lives.

Pax and his mate, Bristle, have welcomed a litter of kits they must protect in a dangerous world. Meanwhile Peter—newly orphaned after the war, racked with guilt and loneliness—leaves his adopted home with Vola to join the Water Warriors, a group of people determined to heal the land from the scars of the war.

When one of Pax’s kits falls desperately ill, he turns to the one human he knows he can trust. And no matter how hard Peter tries to harden his broken heart, love keeps finding a way in. Now both boy and fox find themselves on journeys toward home, healing—and each other, once again.

Read more and sample the audio →


Something Educational


The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Rivalry, Adventure, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (Young Readers Edition) by Sam Kean, narrated by Robert Petkoff

Publisher Summary:

A young readers edition of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon, chronicling the extraordinary stories behind one of the greatest scientific tools in existence: the periodic table.

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie’s reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?

The periodic table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it’s also a treasure trove of adventure, greed, betrayal, and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow elements on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

Adapted for a middle grade audience, the young readers edition of The Disappearing Spoon offers the material in a simple, easy-to-follow format, with approximately 20 line drawings and sidebars throughout. Students, teachers, and burgeoning science buffs will love learning about the history behind the chemistry.

Read more and sample the audio →


Something for Teens


Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley, narrated by Isabella Star Lablanc

Publisher Summary:

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions—and deaths—keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

Read more and sample the audio →


Something For the Whole Family

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, narrated by Del Roy

Publisher Summary:

ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD Looking for special opportunities?

When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful
children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
Welcome to the mysterious benedict society.

Read more and sample the audio →


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Back-to-School Gifting with Audiobooks.com

Somehow another year has gone by and you know what that means…back-to-school season is upon us! Whether you’re in an area where school are open and kids are going back in, or they’re still at home learning remotely, we’ve got you hooked up for the perfect back-to-school gift for them (or yourself)!

By gifting one of our Audiobooks.com gift subscriptions, you’re giving that special someone access to over 250,000 titles. PLUS, when sending one of our gift subscriptions, you can include a book recommendation for them, so that way they have an idea of what audiobook they might put their first credit toward.

With 1, 3, 6, and 12-month prepaid subscriptions to Audiobooks.com, we’ve got you covered on finding the perfect gift.  Click here to visit the Audiobooks.com gift center or check out some audiobooks we think would make great recommendations below.


RECOMMENDATIONS


Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, narrated by Matthew McConaughey

From the Academy Award®–winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, narrated by Bahni Turpin

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Read more and sample the audio →


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days.

When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. Whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune—and control of the OASIS itself. 

Then Wade cracks the first clue. Suddenly he’s beset by rivals who’ll kill to take this prize. The race is on—and the only way to survive is to win.

Read more and sample the audio →


Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, narrated by Jennifer Beals, Judy Greer, Benjamin Bratt, Pablo Schrieber

A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup.

The rise and fall of this legendary group is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable audiobook, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Guest List by Lucy Foley, narrated by Jot Davies, Chloe Massey, Sarah Ovens, Rich Keeble, Aoife Mcmahon, Olivia Dowd

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

Read more and sample the audio →


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’ by Laura Dave

Welcome back to our Book Clubbin’ feature where we set you up with some book discussion questions to either ponder on your own or to take to your next book club. As certain areas begin to open up and you can visit with friends again, now is the perfect time to plan your next book club. If not, Zoom book clubs are still all the rage. Plus, then your long distance friends can join in on the conversation.

This month we decided to dive into Reese Witherspoon’s recent Hello Sunshine Book Club pick, The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave!

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he leaves a note for his wife, Hannah, that simply says: Protect her. Hannah knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. As Hannah’s confusion and panic rise, the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, and a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

If you’ve recently read or listened to The Last Thing He Told Me and could not put it down (trust us, we couldn’t either), then we’ve got some book club questions to spark some great discussions! Keep reading for our discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————CONTAINS SPOILERS!————

1) Why do you think Owen hid his past from Hannah and Bailey?

2) Owen could have left any message for Hannah, why do you think he chose, “Protect her?”

3) We find out that Hannah’s mother left her when she was a child. How does her relationship with her mother compare to Bailey’s?

4) Did you have any suspicions for why Owen disappeared? Were you surprised by the reveal?

5)  Owen left some clues about his past, do you think that he wanted Hannah and Bailey to investigate and uncover why he had to disappear?

6) What did you think of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship? Was it an authentic depiction of a step-mom and step-daughter relationship?

7) Considering Owen and his disappearance are both a huge part of this book, did you feel satisfied only getting glimpses of what he was like through flashbacks?

8)  Do you believe it was fair of Owen to leave Hannah to care for his daughter by herself without ever discussing this with her?

9)  Do you think Hannah made the right decision when she chose for her and Bailey to not to go into witness protection with Owen?

10) Do you think there will every be an opportunity for Owen to reunite with Hannah and Bailey?


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

6 Audiobooks That Will Whisk You Away to France

As life slowly returns to normal and we start daydreaming about travelling again, I’m willing to bet France will be high on a lot of people’s bucket lists—and who can blame them? From dreamy architecture to the country’s storied history, there’s something worth exploring for every type of traveller. For those who simply can’t wait to hop on a plane, let these audiobooks set in France tide you over and satisfy the wanderlust in you!


All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz WilliamsKaren White, and Lauren Willig, narrated by Nicola BarberSaskia MaarleveldHelen Sadler

Publisher Summary:

The heiress . . .
The Resistance fighter . . . 
The widow . . .
Three women whose fates are joined by one splendid hotel

France, 1914. As war breaks out, Aurelie becomes trapped on the wrong side of the front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. When the Germans move into their family’s ancestral estate, using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows the German Major’s aide de camp, Maximilian Von Sternburg. She and the dashing young officer first met during Aurelie’s debutante days in Paris. Despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max’s friendship soon deepens into love, but betrayal will shatter them both, driving Aurelie back to Paris and the Ritz- the home of her estranged American heiress mother, with unexpected consequences.

France, 1942. Raised by her indomitable, free-spirited American grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz, Marguerite “Daisy” Villon remains in Paris with her daughter and husband, a Nazi collaborator, after France falls to Hitler. At first reluctant to put herself and her family at risk to assist her grandmother’s Resistance efforts, Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger known only as Legrand, who creates identity papers for Resistance members and Jewish refugees. But as Daisy is drawn ever deeper into Legrand’s underground network, committing increasingly audacious acts of resistance for the sake of the country-and the man-she holds dear, she uncovers a devastating secret . . . one that will force her to commit the ultimate betrayal, and to confront at last the shocking circumstances of her own family history.

France, 1964. For Barbara “Babs” Langford, her husband, Kit, was the love of her life. Yet their marriage was haunted by a mysterious woman known only as La Fleur. On Kit’s death, American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin appears at her door. Hired to find a Resistance fighter turned traitor known as “La Fleur,” the investigation has led to Kit Langford. Curious to know more about the enigmatic La Fleur, Babs joins Drew in his search, a journey of discovery that that takes them to Paris and the Ritz-and to unexpected places of the heart.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant, narrated by John Lee and Ajjaz Awad

Publisher Summary:

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger—the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh—Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice—protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

Read more and sample the audio →


Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau, narrated by Imani Jade Powers

Publisher Summary:

As sweet as a macaron from Laduree, with writing as crisp as a freshly baked baguette, this romantic novel set in Paris about an American ballerina and a charming French boy is parfait for fans of American Royals and Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Mia Jenrow has always known she’s destined to be a professional ballerina. In fact, it’s in her blood—according to family legend, her too-many-greats-to-count-grandmother once danced for the Paris Opera and was painted by Degas himself! Her parents say it’s just a fantasy, but to Mia it’s so much more than that. It’s her fate.

Mia is planning to spend a magical summer in France pursuing her dream, but as she pirou-ettes into Paris, she soon realizes it may be a bit more complicated than she hoped. For starters, there’s her rival, Audrey, who will stop at nothing to show her up. There’s her ballet instructor, whose impossibly high standards push her to the breaking point. And then . . . there’s Louis. Devastatingly, distractingly charming Louis. He’s eager to show Mia his city—and Mia is more than happy to hop on his Vespa and wrap her arms around him as they pass the gleaming lights of the Eiffel Tower.

Mia’s summer was supposed to be about ballet—but there’s a reason Paris is called the City of Love.

Read more and sample the audio →


Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black, narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers

Publisher Summary:

In June of 1940, when Paris fell to the Nazis, Hitler spent a total of three hours in the City of Light—abruptly leaving, never to return. To this day, no one knows why.

The New York Times bestselling author of the Aimée Leduc investigations reimagines history in her masterful, pulse-pounding spy thriller, Three Hours in Paris.

Kate Rees, a young American markswoman, has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Führer. Wrecked by grief after a Luftwaffe bombing killed her husband and infant daughter, she is armed with a rifle, a vendetta, and a fierce resolve. But other than rushed and rudimentary instruction, she has no formal spy training. Thrust into the red-hot center of the war, a country girl from rural Oregon finds herself holding the fate of the world in her hands. When Kate misses her mark and the plan unravels, Kate is on the run for her life—all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up.

Cara Blackdoyenne of the Parisian crime novel, is at her best as she brings Occupation-era France to vivid life in this gripping story about one young woman with the temerity—and drive—to take on Hitler himself.

Read more and sample the audio →


Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay, narrated by Brittany Pressley

Publisher Summary:

A thirty-year-old woman retraces her gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy to find love—and herself—in this hilarious and heartfelt novel.

It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong postcollege European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most successful moneymaker is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her year abroad. Inspired to retrace her steps—to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy—Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago can help her find it again. 

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross, narrated by Jim Dale

Publisher Summary:

A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France—and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both. I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse…

Read more and sample the audio →


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!


Interview with ‘Soar, Adam, Soar’ author, Rick Prashaw and narrator, John Dickhout

After an epilepsy-related accident tragically ended Adam Prashaw’s young life, he left a legacy of changed lives and a trove of social media posts documenting his life as a transgender man, his relationships, and his everyday ups and downs. In Soar, Adam, Soar, his father, Rick Prashaw, retells Adam’s story alongside his son’s own words. And in the audiobook edition, John Dickhout brings the book to life with an emotional intensity only possible thanks to his incredible connection to the family: John was the recipient of Adam’s heart via organ donation after Adam’s untimely death.

*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Listen in full to the complete interview by playing the video above!*

Audiobooks.com: Rick, you say early on in your book that you always knew you would write a book about your son. Where did that conviction come from?

Rick: I was a journalist, I was a Catholic priest, and a storyteller. I had this kid named Adam that doctors identified at birth as a girl and yet intuitively, especially the mother, but also me definitely saw at least a tomboy and certainly a boy in progress. So I knew I had a fascinating story. I wanted to tell that story, the pride of being dad to this kid late in life, given my priesthood part of my my life. And I just knew that this was a story, given his personality, his his joy, and the journey that he was on. It was something that I wanted to tell them.

Audiobooks.com: And you described writing annual birthday letters to Adam that provided a bit of the basis for your book. But then, when did you finally properly sit down to write his story? And what was that process like?

Rick: I retired and… I was so keen to write for myself. And so I did have those letters. I had probably more significant, as it turned out, Adam’s social media and Facebook posts to tell. Both in the years identifying as Rebecca and then later in terms of his huge coming out with his post, “I am Adam.” And so I had all of that material to draw on and also, of course, the family trips and all the adventures that everyone knows about in their in their family life.

[But it was] what happened in 2016 that completely, dramatically shifted the tone of the book. I was in California on a holiday[…] And I got the worst call of my life when we learned that Adam, who had a lifetime of dealing with epilepsy […] had been found face down in a hot tub. Friends had been with him, but they had left to retrieve some clothes in his apartment. He was resuscitated and I had to fly home for this weekend vigil to see if we would get the miracle that we were hoping and praying for. And that was not to be. And yet there was to be some life coming out of that tragedy as Adam was a registered organ donor and he was able to save four lives. So as tragic as it was and as much of grieving, the story started to bubble up inside of me. That lifeline for me was to tell again his entire story, including the gender story, the epilepsy story, but also now a remarkable organ donor part to the book.

“And yet there was to be some life coming out of that tragedy as Adam was a registered organ donor and he was able to save four lives. So, as tragic as it was and as much of grieving, the story started to bubble up inside of me.”

RICK PRASHAW

Audiobooks.com: And that’s where John, the narrator, comes into the conversation. How did you two become connected and and what was that like?

John: Being a transplant recipient is unlike anything else. And I was pretty obsessed with wanting to find out whatever I could, if I could, about my donor, this person that gave me my life back. […] I had this immense need or desire to share my gratitude somehow, if I could. Soon found out that that wasn’t really promoted. In fact, I remember my post transplant coordinator […] said, “John, you’ll never know who your donor was.” You can send an anonymous letter, which I did, of course. But I remember in my head thinking, “Oh, yeah, well, we’ll see about that.”

So I sent an anonymous letter just to somehow try to put into words the immense gratitude I was feeling toward my my donor and, of course, my donor’s family, who made the decision in a very trying time to grant their wishes of their loved one to be an organ donor. And I wasn’t necessarily expecting, certainly hoping, but not expecting to get a letter in return. But I did. And in that letter, which was just full of love and…sorry, and overwhelming gratitude toward me for having reached out and I was pretty stunned.

“…I was pretty obsessed with wanting to find out whatever I could, if I could, about my donor, this person that gave me my life back.”

JOHN DICHOUT

But also there were a lot of clues which I think the Trillium Gift of Life Network maybe and Adam had a hand in letting slip through. But there were a lot of clues about this wonderful young man who was my organ donor. So, I just went to the Google machine and plugged in a few keywords from this marvelous letter that I received. And the first thing that popped up was a an obituary. And I could tell immediately that it was written by the same hand as the person who’d sent me this wonderful letter. So, I contrived a plan. I wanted to respect their anonymity and privacy. So, I did remain anonymous for as long as I could until it was absolutely certain that my organ donor[‘s family], which turned out to be Rick, wanted to connect. […] Short story, I created a fake Facebook page called Heart Recipient and sent him an anonymous note and went from there.

Audiobooks.com: So, once you two got connected and Rick, you understood John’s background, did you always have him in mind to narrate the book?

Rick: I think for about five seconds I said, “Oh, I really want to do this myself. You know, this would be such a good experience for me. I’ve never done this.” That thought left me when John popped into my head and I said, “He’d be the perfect choice.” I mean, we were now friends. We knew each other, [and our] families. I was very aware of his golden attitude. I knew he was a community theater actor. I knew he had seized on his desire to be a professional actor. So, I knew he had the skills and I can joke on the good days that he had his “heart” in it for sure. And and I said, “He’s just so perfect.” And of course, then being a professional product, he had to go out and and earn it and do the audition and everything.

“I knew he had the skills and I can joke on the good days that he had his ‘heart’ in it for sure.”

RICK PRASHAW

Audiobooks.com: What was it like recording it? Were you surprised by anything during the recording process?

John: I got hold of some cubicle walls and built this little makeshift studio. And one thing that surprised me is how bloody hot it got after six hour, eight hour days. The process itself was very interesting to me. You know, you’re live basically with the engineer who’s putting it together as you go. And I guess the one thing I found surprising is how difficult it is to say an entire sentence without stopping and how many times you stop and start and start again. In fact, I hear it when I when I listen to the book now that the first couple of chapters I might be finding my rhythm a little bit.

But that was that was an interesting part of the process. The the most nerve wracking part is thinking about what all those people to whom the book means so much and so many different things, how they would accept it and how I could possibly do justice to their memories, particularly those people that know Rick and [Adamn’s mother] Suzanne and all of his family and, of course, Adam. To try to put a voice to what they already have in their heads was a little bit daunting.

Audiobooks.com: And so, Rick, for you, what was it like to hear John bring the book to life?

Rick: I rely on Adam’s family and friends, and they just rave about John and the voice and the telling of the story. So, he certainly has no worries. He shouldn’t have any worries. The people that really know the story, know my boy, are just thrilled with the with the audiobook.

Audiobooks.com: And certainly, John, your narration brings an extraordinarily personal element to the audiobook. What do you think really elevates the audio experience, perhaps not above print, but certainly as a wonderful companion?

John: Yeah. So, I mean, really, for me, knowing that I feel, anyway for the for the listener, that just knowing that story or maybe discovering the story as it unfolds on its own lifts the senses, I suppose. That’s another interesting thing. The engineer who recorded the audiobook with me wasn’t aware. He knew that Rick and I had a connection, but he didn’t know what it was until we got to those chapters in the book. So, it was pretty neat to experience that with someone who’s hearing it for the first time. So, yeah, that I think that it’s going to mean different things and it’s going to touch different people in different ways. But I certainly think if you’ve got a heart, it’ll probably mean something to you.

“…It’s going to touch different people in different ways. But I certainly think if you’ve got a heart, it’ll probably mean something to you.”

JOHN DICKHOUT

Rick: Jemma, I get notes. One of the great surprises as an author that I had is to get notes from strangers and they tell you what the story does, what this boy does. So, sometimes when you’re a publisher, they all want to know what section of the bookstore, what’s the hashtag to use here? And for sure, there’s a gender story. He was this tomboy that was like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird or Tatum O’Neal played that picture in the Paper Moon. Very much looked like those two characters. So this is a gender story. There’s the epilepsy story. There’s the organ donor story, but there’s the family acceptance of this kid.

And then somebody finally, one of the podcasters said, it’s a love story. And that’s what I like the best to hear, that it’s a love story not just of people like family and parents and friends for Adam, but it’s Adam’s love for himself, where he had the courage and the resiliency to be who he was and to love who he wanted to love. […]

There’s just so many angles and so many audiences out there for the story.

“…It’s a love story not just of people like family and parents and friends for Adam, but it’s Adam’s love for himself, where he had the courage and the resiliency to be who he was and to love who he wanted to love.”

RICK PRASHAW

Audiobooks.com: I wonder what lessons you might draw for us from his life as the world moves collectively through this time of hardship. What would Adam have to say about this right now?

Rick: I just chuckle in the good days about Adam getting the biggest kick out of a book written about him, an audiobook that John is the voice. I, just as a dad, I think that’s where I go to to enjoy thinking about Adam watching all of this from his place now. He would enjoy the celebrity and the attention of it. It would be always from the fun perspective, because no matter how many times life knocked them down, it was always get back up and and like, “What’s next? Let’s go to a sunny place.” He’d whine for a day on Facebook and then he’d be back in his happy place. […] I take enormous comfort in thinking of Adam being so happy in terms of his story being out there.


Publisher Summary:

Coming out. Coming in. Coming home.

Adam Prashaw’s life was full of surprises from the moment he was born. Assigned female at birth, and with parents who had been expecting a boy, he spent years living as ‘Rebecca Danielle Adam Prashaw’ before coming to terms with being a transgender man. Adam captured hearts with his humor, compassion, and intensity. After a tragic accident cut his life short, he left a legacy of changed lives and a trove of social media posts documenting his life, relationships, transition, and struggles with epilepsy, all with remarkable transparency and directness.

In Soar, Adam, Soar, his father, a former priest, retells Adam’s story alongside his son’s own words. From early childhood, through coming out first as a lesbian and then as a man, and his battles with epilepsy and refusal to give in, it chronicles Adam’s drive to define himself, his joyful spirit, and his love of life, which continues to conquer all.

Read more and sample the audio →


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